Sailfish Come From Behind to Upset No. 4 Saint Leo

Written by: Will Johansen, Sports Information Assistant

Photo courtesy of Ron HilliardPhoto courtesy of Ron Hilliard

Box Score

ST. LEO, Fla.- Head Coach Kimmy Bloemers picked up a career milestone win Friday night in a fashionable way, upsetting the No. 4 Saint Leo Lions 6-5 at University Softball Stadium on the campus of Saint Leo University. The win was Coach Bloemers 300th as a Sailfish, and moves the ‘Fish to 29-15 on the year. For the Lions, the loss was only their second of the season.

The Lions jumped out to an early lead striking for two in the bottom of the first inning, but the Sailfish responded with two of their own in the top of the second. Theresa Butler got things going wth a double to center field, her first of three hits on the evening. After advancing to third, Butler came on on a Brianna Skipper sacrifice fly, cutting the deficit. The ‘Fish tied things up later in the inning as Devin Williams came in to score on a wild pitch.

The back and forth action would continue as the Lions regained a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the second, only for the ‘Fish to respond in the top half of the third inning. Butler, picking up her second of three hits, drove in Maddie Bertisch to tie the game up at three runs a piece. The ‘Fish later took a 4-3 lead in the top of the fourth as Brianna Rano came in on a two-out infield single by the freshman Bertish.

Saint Leo eventually tied the game in the bottom half of the fourth inning and jumped ahead 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning.

With the bases loaded and one away in the top of the seventh, Williams laid down a perfect suicide squeeze bunt that scored Kimmi McIntosh to tie the game, sending the Sailfish dugout into a frenzy. Two batters later, Rano reached on an error by the Lion’s third baseman that allowed S.J. Collier to score, giving the ‘Fish a 6-5 lead, the eventual final score.

Nikki Brinegar picked up her third win on the year in the circle for the Sailfish, as the junior tossed three innings in relief, allowing just one hit and one earned run to score.

The Sailfish were able to score three runs off of both of Saint Leo’s top two pitchers, both who currently lead the NCAA Division II in ERA on the year. Alanna Tabel received the loss in the circle for the Lions, pitching four innings of relief for Stephanie Adkins, who before tonight, had never been relieved in a game this season. As a team, the Lions had only let up a total of 27 runs in their previous 38 games combined, and let up a season high six to the Sailfish.

Butler finished with three hits on the night, a home run shy of the cycle. She drove in a run and scored herself. Kayla Knight also picked up three hits, all singles from the top spot in the order.

The Sailfish and Lions return to University Softball Stadium for double-dip action Saturday, April 16 with first pitch scheduled for noon.

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